Tete de Jeune Fille by Rouault
Tete de Jeune Fille, 1939, Georges Rouault
Georges Rouault (1871-1958) was a French Expressionist painter and one of the finest artists of the 20th century. First apprenticed to a glass painter as a teenager, he achieved admission to the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1891, where he became the favored student of renowned Symbolist painter, Gustave Moreau. These influences strongly transformed his art as he imbued his paintings with glowing colors and thick black outlines that mimicked stained glass, and infused his work with the intense spiritual symbolism of his professor. A good friend of Henri Matisse, Rouault was also an important member of the brief Fauvist movement. Like his colleagues, Rouault's art emphasized painterly qualities and varied texture of the surface.
Rouault later became one of the leading Expressionist painters in France. His subjects ranged from kings to circus folk to commoners, but he is best known for his religious works. After strengthening his Christian faith, he became devoted to themes of death and resurrection. He was deeply disturbed by the pain and suffering wrought during World War I, and his relationship with religion was his salve. He often contrasted the suffering of humanity with the suffering of the Savior in his art, and is revered today as one of the greatest Christian artists of his time.In this lithograph, translated into English as Head of a Young Girl, we see Rouault paint one of his famous busts. The young girl's pose reflects that of Jesus Christ, her head and eyes downturned in humility. The bright, glowing colors allow the audience to easily envision the image as part of a church's stained glass window. Despite her young age, her expression is solemn as if weighed down by the wear of years, a reflection both of the tragedy of World War I and the worldwide Great Depression. The year of this lithograph's creation was also the same year in which the Second World War began. Despite these earthly concerns, in the young girl's solemnity is also peace meant to inspire the viewer with the message that spirituality and faith shall conquer all suffering.
- Onastasia Youssef
Sheet size: 14" x 10"
Condition: In excellent condition